The Pittsburgh Promise is a promise fulfilled to the whole community.
The organization has made a commitment to help the youth reach,
and even exceed their potentials. Pittsburgh wins together with the kids
as the organization molds kids to be great citizens of the great city.
Read on to see a glimpse of what the organization does in addition to
providing scholarships to deserving kids.
-What is your organization’s name?
The Pittsburgh Promise
-What is your name and what is your affiliation with the organization?
Marsha Kolbe, Development Manager
-Please tell us a little bit about you.
I am a big fan of the City of Pittsburgh! Pittsburgh has a rich history,
great cultural opportunities, beautiful riverfronts, fun and delicious
restaurants, and the kindest people anywhere. I love working for The
Pittsburgh Promise because I have the opportunity to play a role in
making Pittsburgh a place where all of young people have chance to
achieve their dreams.
-How / why did your organization start? (Background, History)
The Pittsburgh Promise was launched when a group of forward-looking
thinkers in the community came together to address a challenge. The
challenge was how to preserve the strengths of our city at the core of
our region, and how to preserve the school district that is essential to
the survival of the city. A key strategy of The Promise is a
scholarship program to help students graduating from the Pittsburgh
Public Schools to pursue further education after high school, and to
enhance the growth, stability, and economic development of the
Pittsburgh region. The program was announced in December of 2006, and
seeded by UPMC in December of 2007 with an unprecedented $100 million
challenge grant. The Pittsburgh Promise is a partnership of the
Pittsburgh Public Schools, The Pittsburgh Foundation, and the City of
-What is your organization’s objective? (What does it do?)
The Pittsburgh Promise’s Purpose:
* Provide college scholarships to Pittsburgh’s students, and see
them through to graduation
* Promote the reform of Pittsburgh Public Schools, and see them
through to excellence
* Leverage the development of Pittsburgh’s neighborhoods, and
see them through to prosperity
-How long has the organization been around?
Since December 2006.
The PPS graduating class of 2008 was the first class to receive Promise
-What kind of events / activities does your organization do?
* We provide scholarships to graduates of the Pittsburgh Public Schools
(PPS) who meet the grade point (2.5 or higher), residency (must be a
resident of the City of Pittsburgh), and graduation/enrollment (must
have been enrolled continually in PPS for at least grades 9-12 and be a
PPS graduate) requirements. We also work hard to support PPS students
and families as they plan and prepare for post secondary education by
* Free College Tours to PPS juniors and seniors
* Free financial education, tax and FAFSA preparation
* Supports to high school seniors who may need extra encouragement to
reach Promise eligibility
-How can people get in touch with your organization (or you)? (website,
email, telephone etc.)
Promise office phone: 412-281-7605
-Any messages to Greater Pittsburgh?
Our message to Pittsburgh Public Schools students is Dream Big and Work
Hard; that all of their dreams are within reach because as a community,
we are supporting them by providing an excellent education and removing
the financial barriers to higher education. We want to see our students
be the best and the brightest in whatever field they pursue, and then
come back home to work, live and contribute to the revitalization of
We are off to a great start with over 2500 PPS graduates using a Promise
scholarship to further their education and gain a degree. It is
wonderful to think about what these young men and women will give back
to Pittsburgh in years to come.
Pittsburgh, we need you to Dream Big and Work Hard too by investing in
the young people of our city in whatever way works for you (if you need
ideas of how to do that, call our office). Our young people need
mentors, role models, coaches, youth group leaders and friends to guide
them toward positive, life-giving choices.
The Promise also needs your financial support to ensure we receive every
dime of UPMC’s annual $10 million challenge grant. UPMC will contribute
$2 for each $3 that The Pittsburgh Promise raises from the community.
Each year The Promise must raise $15 million dollars to leverage the
full $10 million UPMC challenge grant. Every $1 you give helps us get
closer to that goal.
Please join us in Keeping the Promise to our young people and investing
in the future of Pittsburgh by making a contribution at
www.pittsburghpromise.org or by joining The Promise Marathon Team at